NEW YORK—Soon New Yorkers will be able to watch public meetings and hearings from all city agencies without having to leave their desks.
On Thursday the City Council passed a new law requiring all city agencies to webcast meetings and committee hearings live when possible, and at the very least have a recording of the meeting on the city’s or agencies’ websites within 72 hours. Local school boards and community boards will be excluded from the law.
“This bill embraces the beauty of a more transparent government, and could help to improve accountability and functionality,” said City Council Speaker Christine Quinn in a statement. “We have the technology—let’s use it to our advantage for the good of all New Yorkers.”
Currently the City Council airs all committee hearings and stated meetings live online on the council website.
“Requiring webcasting for all city agencies will bring an unprecedented level of transparency to New York City government,” said Council member Gale Brewer. “The City Council has already shown its commitment to this goal by launching its own webcasting system, which has allowed thousands of New Yorkers to access council proceedings.”
The law will bring the city in compliance with Executive Order No. 3 issued by then-governor Elliot Spitzer on Jan. 1, 2007. The law required all meetings of state agencies and public authorities to be broadcast online.
The law will take effect in 90 days.